View Full Version : Will widescreen monitors soon become the norm as well?

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03-14-04, 02:05 PM
Since it looks like TV's are all going to be widescreen before long, do you think that computer monitor's follow suit?

I'm one of the few that despise widescreen. I guess I'll have to get used to it eventually when I make the widescreen HDTV upgrade in a year or two.

03-15-04, 07:30 AM
Not a fan of widescreen myself, unless its a fairly big screen, but from what I have seen on dislays, tv images look kinda streched, so I wouldnt want one for watching tv.

03-15-04, 09:01 AM
As far as monitors go, I probably wouldn't care for it too much. I can see that someone that relies on the computer for television viewing too might disagree though, especially as more HD channels become available. (Widescreen is easier to get into because it tends to fill your vision so much).

But I do have a 34" 16:9 widescreen HD TV, and I can honestly say that I won't go back to the standard 4:3 televisions any time soon. As for the stretching effect you mentioned on the displays, that could be one of two things I've seen:

1) A lame HD channel broadcast. ESPN HD does this a LOT. They tend to rebroadcast 4:3 games with the signal encoded as 16:9 (and recognized as such by the 'auto' setting on most HD receivers / tv's). This makes the image get stretched horizontally to fill the width of the screen, and just looks nasty.
2) Most widescreen televisions have multiple modes available, including "stretch", "zoom", "normal", and "auto". If you are viewing a normal definition 4:3 aspect ration broadcast and turn on the "stretch" mode, it comes out just like the ESPN HD broadcasts. Set to normal, and you'll end up with black bars on either side of a regular 4:3 display. IMO, this is most likely what you saw (stretch mode), since most stores selling these are trying to show off the edge-to-edge performance of their televisions.

Both of these issues are usually easily correctable by using a different setting for the television or receiver though. For ESPN HD, I override the auto setting and set it to use 480i mode (which forces the 4:3 aspect ratio, at least for ESPN HD). For other stuff, turning off stretch mode allows the tv/tuner to pick the right mode on its own, and that seems to always work fine for my stuff. DVDs in widescreen and any of the 10 or so HD channels I get all seem so much better with the wider field of (undistorted) view. :)

03-17-04, 06:45 PM
if you game on a 16:9 PC LCD, will the video game stretch to the aspect ratio?

03-17-04, 07:20 PM
I tend to think that the TV and the PC will eventually become the same device. Therefore, since the wide aspect ratios on TVs seem to be the future it stands to reason we will get stuck with it sooner or later.

However, since PCs can already switch resolutions I don't see why these future devices would sacrifice that feature. So that should help a bit.

03-17-04, 08:48 PM
Very good points Riptide. I'm sure that somewhere in the future the PC will definitely be just another component in our entertainment centers. Some do it that way already. I personally prefer to at least have a separate system for most things, so that I can game, browse the web, create letters, etc. while the tv is used for normal viewing. But a PC dedicated to home theater work in addition to my regular desktop would be great too.

roninpc- with a 16:9 monitor, you would probably be able to set a custom resolution for the video card, and also might have to set up games specifically for the wider display (or put up with stretched / distorted games, much like the issue that we were discussion about store displays showing stretched images). Very likely, if you have a widescreen monitor, you've also got a video card that has driver support for that sort of display already set up anyway. (Might be fun playing UT2004 on a widescreen display too, come to think of it. MUCH easier to guard that node! :D).

03-18-04, 09:15 AM
I think also the reasons I have seen that stretching effect, is also due to the place that I have seen them on display. Usually they have the same program showing on all the tvs at the sametime? Im sure if I had the money, I would get a widescreen next, but as I dont, Im not really bothered ;) its certainly not a technology that jumps out at me and says, you must have this!! :p

03-19-04, 11:45 AM
Well, the reason why I was asking this was I was thinking about getting a new LCD monitor and I didn't want to get one if widescreens would soon replace the normal 4:3 view. But, I went ahead and ordered a Dell 2100FP 20.1" LCD since they were supposed to be pretty good for gaming. I'll post back with my impressions after it comes in next week.

03-19-04, 12:54 PM
Awesome, I like my 2000FP a lot so I'll be curious to find out your impressions on this newer model. For $999 it doesn't sound like a bad deal. When it first went on the market you could get it for $850 + ship on their website, the price has since gone up.

03-19-04, 01:55 PM
$799 plus tax and shipping right now. I bought it yesterday when shipping was free (the total was about $850 or so). You've got to keep an eye out daily to see what kind of deals they are running. Plus the priced in their Small Business section will differ from the price in the Home section for the same product. Go figure!


03-19-04, 02:56 PM
Damn j00! I happened to have $500 sitting in a piggy bank that I was saving for PCI-E and my next video card. I think I'm just going to have to order me one of these bad boys. Now, what will I do with my already nice 2000FP? Probably keep it and do a dual display setup. :D


This pushed me over the edge...

03-19-04, 03:50 PM
I'm fairly certain normal 4:3 monitors are a safe bet for most people's PCs for a long time to come, no matter how popular widescreen home theater televisions become. Until PCs are used in a majority of the HT setups out there, I suspect most monitor manufacturers will be sticking to the regular aspect ration setups. After all, businesses are their main customers even now, and not too many businesses at all will use a widescreen monitor. :)

Nice purchase, btw. ;)

03-19-04, 03:55 PM
Awesome, I only wish mine shipped sooner. Est. ship date is 3/25. :(

But at least I got one at a great price! :dance:

Someone is already interested in my 2000FP, for the reasonable price of $400.

03-19-04, 03:58 PM
I've been a bit leary of buying an LCD since they really don't seem to have all of the technology kinks worked out at this time (though they have come a ways since their inception). The problems that I have seen on sites with the 2001FP are uneven backlighting, horizontal lines or "screen-door" effect, or dead pixels. But, only some people seem to have these problems with the monitor whereas others do not. But, Dell seems to have a very good 30-day return policy so I can always exchange/return it if things aren't in order. This still appears to be the best LCD monitor for gaming at this size. So, I just hope I get a good one!

The ship dates that they put there are bogus. They are just for systems really. I ordered mine around 1:30pm yesterday and it had shipped by around 3:30pm the same day (the original estimated ship date on there was sometime in the middle of next week). That's pretty impressive.

03-19-04, 04:04 PM
Well, that's good news monkeydust. Perhaps it'll ship a bit sooner than next week then.

I *expect* to have a few dead or problem pixels because unlike most people I don't expect perfection with these things (even though they are expensive). I'm fairly familiar with the manufacturing processes they go through and it is virtually impossible to produce one with this many pixels and have -0- defects.

I've seen only a few CRTs *or* LCDs in actual use so far that didn't have at least one dead or problem pixel. Every single display I have ever owned had at least one dead one.

If someone tells you their display has no dead pixels at all, they are either *extremely* lucky or they are not looking closely enough. It's usually the latter. ;)

The only reason I would ask for an exchange would be an excessive overall # of dead pixels (ie, more than 4), a dead pixel in the center of the screen, or a serious issue with the backlight.

The warranty is pretty good to - most manufacturers used to cover the backlight for only 1 year. This one has a full 3 years on it. :D

03-19-04, 04:42 PM
Hey Riptide, what settings do you run all your games at? Right now, I run everything at 1280x1024 with 4xAA and 16AF with my CRT. I don't think my system can run 4xAA and 16AF at 1600x1200 with all my games (I assume I want to run everything at 1600x1200 with the 2001FP since that is its native resolution).

03-19-04, 04:51 PM
I typically run my games at 1600x1200 with no AF or AA turned on. The small amount of jaggies at that resolution don't bug me personally. Having come from the "old days" with EGA as my first display I'm not quite as picky as some of the "youngsters". ;)

My system is currently more than adequate to play most games out right now at that setting. There is one game that I bit the bullet on and went all the way down to 1024x768: HALO. I liked the game so much that I blew off the fact I had to drop the resolution down so far and played it anyway. You know what? It still looked pretty damn good, IMHO. You could tell it was interpolated but I chose to look at it as a "free" form of FSAA. :)

If you are real picky you may not want a display with this native resolution. You could also just give it a try and return it or sell it if it didn't perform to your liking in those other resolutions.

In my case, having had a 2000FP for quite some time, there is no question that I will like this one. :D

03-19-04, 04:58 PM
Well, I'm pretty damn picky. So picky that I've been wondering how I can remove those DELL letters from the front of the monitor bezel (kinda bugs me). :)

Most reviews that I have seen say the 2001FP does a great job of resolution interpolation. But, I imagine I'll just keep everything at 1600x1200 and go from there. I'm sure I'll still be able to keep the 16xAF since that isn't too framerate intensive. It would be nice if ATI would come out with game profiles for AA and AF setting so I would be able to set higher settings on the games that can handle it and be done with it.

So does refresh rate really make no diffrence at all on LCD's? I saw that the 1600x1200 has a max refresh of 60hz. I'm just so used to that type of thing being a very bad thing.

Thanks for all the info for this LCD n00b!

03-19-04, 05:12 PM
Heh, the Dell lettering didn't bother me so maybe you are picky. ;)
In my case the lettering actually looked kinda cool to me because the black bezel and all matched my black case. If I had a beige case it would've been kind of annoying.

Oh, and the refresh rate has pretty much -0- effect. I'd keep it at 60hz and you will not notice any flicker at all.

Once you surf the web on one of these nice big flat screens with *perfect* geometry (hard to get that on a CRT) and with perfect convergence I think you'll be sold. :)

03-22-04, 10:25 AM
I got my monitor today. No dead pixels or stuck pixels. There is slight backlight bleeding in the upper righthand corner as many have reported. Nothing that major.

So far I have tested it with UT2k4, KOTOR, NOLF, Deus Ex 2, Neverwinter Nights, and Age of Mythology. The only ones that I noticed ghosting is NWN and AoM. NWN was slight ghosting on the floor tiles as I scrolled the screen. AoM ghosted considerably on items as I scrolled the screen quickly past them. So, the only ones that ghosted did it under similar conditions. NWN wouldn't be a problem since you typically don't go scrolling the screen around like that. But, you often do this sort of action in AoM.

03-24-04, 11:59 PM
Got mine today.

Haven't had a chance yet to do any real testing, just screwed around with it a bit this evening. There is at least one dead pixel, in the upper right corner. Not a big surprise there, for me at least. I expect that. I like the smaller bezel and the new stand. Definitely less "clunky" than the 2000FP. Only real complaint I have is that the "screen door" effect is worse with this display than my 2000FP which doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Same screen size, # of pixels, so what gives? Not a huge issue though, as a slight screen door effect doesn't bug me much.

I will try and put it through it's paces tomorrow w/some UT2004 and test it for ghosting.

03-26-04, 04:35 PM
Yeah, what's the deal with the screendoor thing? That's my only real beef with this monitor. I don't think there are any settings to really help with it. I'm not sure if it is just the pixel backgrounds or if it is a coating on the monitor. I'm still debating if it is big enough of an issue with me to warrant returning the monitor. But, if I didn't get this one, I really don't see any other out there with similar specs that would perform as well with gaming.

I looked at a smaller LCD that is at my office today to look for this similar effect. I could see it on that one, but it wasn't as pronounced as what I see on the 2001FP. I didn't know if it is just more apparent since the monitor was larger.

03-26-04, 04:52 PM
This link does a good job of explaining it:

This issue applies to all LCD technology, not just projectors. I don't understand why this effect is worse with this display vs. the previous (2000FP) one. But it is annoying, I agree with you on that. And it is also my only real complaint, the two dead pixels I have aren't even an issue to me.

I will probably keep the display but I'm not nearly as thrilled with it as I had hoped to be. I feel like I took a step forward but also a step back. Errr, that's more of a sideways step isn't it? ;)

03-26-04, 05:39 PM
I keep wavering on whether I am going to keep it or not. It is great except for the screendoor effect. I feel like the text is all blurry on my monitor at work after using this LCD for the last few days. I just don't see any other LCD's on the market that really compare to this specwise in regards to size and response time at a similar price.

I guess the choice is to either return this and wait another year or so for LCD's with better picture and response times to come out or just live with the slight screendoor effect.

Damn my good eyesight!

03-26-04, 05:43 PM
FWIW, I don't notice the screendoor effect that much if I don't look for it. It's something I've gotten used to, at least to a degree. It is disappointing that it's there, but nothing can be done about it. It doesn't make much sense that my 2000FP didn't have this particular issue. They both had the same screen size and # of pixels. I wonder if the pitch is the same? I'll have to look that up.

I agree about text sharpness: LCDs are the way to go there vs. a CRT. Have you tried MS cleartype yet?